Jim Patterson, my Republican Assemblyman, opposes any spending on what he calls Gov. Jerry Brown’s “climate change gamble.” In an email to constituents Jan. 10, Patterson says that climate change is just a theory, and efforts to reduce carbon emissions have “huge consequences to freedom, opportunity, prosperity and job creation, the cost-of-living and economic upward mobility.”
Patterson seems unaware that the U.S. economy grew by 10 percent between 2008 and 2015 while carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector fell by 9.5 percent. Obviously, combating climate change has not led to lower growth or a lower standard of living.
Patterson also seems unaware that twice as many Americans have jobs related to clean energy compared to the 1.1 million Americans who are producing fossil fuels and generating electric power with them.
Not all Republicans share Patterson’s disdain for reducing carbon emissions and moving away from fossil fuels. In 2006, Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32) and several Republicans have joined the bipartisan congressional Climate Solutions Caucus. Patterson should reconsider his views on climate change and what we can do about it.
Ruth Afifi, Fresno